Gandy Dancers 1973 Entire Folkstreams

Making The Film

Gandy Dancers 1973

Film by Thomas Burton, Jack Schrader
Produced by Thomas G. Burton and Jack Schrader
Cinematographer: Jack Schrader
Editing: Thomas G. Burton and Jack Schrader
Copyright: 1973 Thomas Burton
14 minutes, Color
Original format: Film: 16mm, 1973
More Film Facts

This remarkable film features field recordings of work chants of Gandy Dancers including aligning songs and chants to knock out slack in the rail. The accompanying visual shows men working with cross ties, aligning the track, and spiking. The film focuses on the changes brought about by mechanization of railroad building.

Jack Schrader shot this film with a 16mm Bolex camera without sync sound. It is part of a 1973 series of films created by Schrader and Folklorist Thomas Burton. These films are streamed on Folkstreams and the 16mm prints are in the Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University.